Monday, November 15, 2010

Years ago,

when my nieces and nephews started dating, I gave them specific instructions that they were to find out if the person they were dating had a single uncle. Ya know, for their ol' aunt. Then as I got older, I changed it from Uncle to Dad. Now, sad to say, I have changed it again...this time to Grandfather! Mind you my nieces and nephews range in age from 17 to 39, (this is not counting Grand nieces and nephews). Before long it could be Great Grandfather!! :(

"I'm getting married!!!"

That's what my youngest niece's Facebook status read yesterday. Very cool! You betcha I clicked "Like" on that one.

I remember the day, 23 1/2 years ago, when my niece was born. I remember the times her folks would have me babysit her, and it was more like she was the one doing the babysitting. She was a cool baby.

Before she started school, we would do things together. Ice Capades, the circus, movies. I took her on her first train ride, from one Chicago suburb to another. When we reached our destination we went to a movie. I can still see her face filled with wonder as the train chugged down the tracks. She thought that was the best thing. So, did I.

When she started going to school, our fun times happened less and less. Until I moved to Wisconsin, because she spent her summers there. One time we took a road trip to the International Wolf Center, in Ely, MN. It was a good time of camping, laughing and enjoying nature. Then she started working, and became too old to come to Wisconsin for the summer. We saw each other less, and less. She moved to Georgia. I moved to Montana. Life happened.

Now she has met a wonderful man, fallen in love and is getting married! Very cool! You betcha I asked her if her fiance's grandfather was single!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I found a treasure

I try to talk to my mom once a week, that's how it has always been throughout the years. In times of troubles we would talk more than once a week, and our conversations would last for a while. Now our conversations are short, a few minutes at best. I ask a question, and most times I can understand her answer. Sometimes she rambles on, and I try to understand where she is rambling to. I cherish those few minutes a week.

I am a keeper of things. No, no, you'll never see me on an episode of "Hoarders". I keep things that are special to me. Things others might have thrown away long ago. Things that have touched me.

The other day I was going through a box of old postcards and pictures and such. I came across a pink envelope with my mom's handwriting on it. The postmark was September 10, 1992. It was too early to be a birthday card (yep, I save them sometimes too). I opened the envelope to find a card my mom had sent me that read "A little note to cheer you!" I opened the card to find a piece of paper. On the paper, a note written by my mom, said:

"Dear Boni, If you ever need cheering up-just dig out this little card. Love you, Mom"

Now, I don't remember what was going on in my life when that card was sent. Seems to me the card did the trick, because I kept it. And, I'm sure over the years I have found it in the box of old postcards and pictures and such. I'm sure I opened it and smiled, even if I didn't need cheering up.

Finding the card when I did made me cry. It was a funny kind of crying. Not a full out sob, like I am doing as I write this. No, it was a cry mixed with laughter, mixed with memories, mixed with sadness, mixed with happiness, mixed with joy. Yes, the joy in finding a treasure that I will keep forever in a box of old postcards and pictures and such. Thanks Mom! I love you too.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What I've learned in the past few weeks...

....about some parts of life (but not all, well maybe).

It's all bullshit! And what isn't bullshit is a joke!

I might expound on these statements another time, who knows.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

and he prays

To say my dad is distraught over my mom being in the nursing home would be an understatement. Not just from the loneliness of being away from the woman he has been married to for almost 65 years, and has loved for over 68 years, but from everything going on in regards to her care.

At 85 years old, my dad has lost control of his life, and his wife. Power of Attorney regarding my mom's health has been taken over by one of their grandchildren. Who in turn "pushed" to have my mom deemed medically incompetent. Since doing so, my father has been told he could be arrested if he took his wife of almost 65 years, and the love of his life for over 68 years, out of the nursing home. No going to church. No going out to celebrate birthdays. No going for drives on beautiful, sunny days. No going home.

They are both very lonely. A kind of loneliness that I don't think another person can comprehend, unless they have been in love like my parents are. A love that has inner-twined their very beings with one another.

So, my dad goes up to the nursing home two, sometimes three times a day. He says sometimes he sits for hours and watches her sleep. (Not understanding how he cannot control what is going on with his wife. Oft times not being told what is going on with her care.) And he prays. One time, he said, he prayed for hours that his wife of almost 65 years, and the love of his life for over 68 years, would die. It would be easier, easier than reliving the loneliness she feels when he gets up to leave, and the loneliness he feels as he walks down the hall without her, unable to take her home.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

He's not buying it anymore

For months, I have been selling Boo Duh on the wonders of dogs. Any time he did a "cat" thing, I would tell him that a dog wouldn't do such a thing. He knows my motto is, "Dogs rule, cats drool". And in his cat like way, anything I said about dogs, didn't bother him. He remained aloof. Don't get me wrong, Boo Duh fetches, retrieves and catches better than most dogs I have known. (As I said in an earlier post, I am a dog person.)

Recently, one of the bakers at work was in a really bad motorcycle accident. No helmet, head bouncing on the pavement kind of bad. For the time being, that left his dog, Marcia, an orphan. I volunteered to take Marcia in, until her "Dad" gets better.

I was worried about bringing Marcia home. Worried about Boo Duh's reaction. Doesn't matter how many times I tell Boo Duh this is my house, and I am allowing him to stay. I know by the silly smirk on his face that it's not true. It's the other way around.

I'm glad to say, my worrying was for naught! Boo Duh has been very patient with Marcia. He's been a real cool cat! Sometimes, he touches her to see if she is real. A couple of times, he tried to get her to play. That just scared the crap out of her, literally. I've even tried to get Marcia to play, but it's not happening. Maybe she is upset over being separated from her dad. Being in a different environment, a new place. Marcia is a Yorkie. A little one at that, I am told. She's not an obnoxious yippie-yappie kind of dog. Not at all, she is pretty laid back. Maybe that is why her full name is Marcia Mellow.

There have been times since Marcia got here, that I see Boo Duh standing above her, seemingly ready to pounce. Most of the time though, he looks at me as if to ask, "Really, what the hell is it?" Or, "This is a dog? What's so great?" I know from his look, that he's not buying what I'm selling anymore!

Monday, July 5, 2010


Find out what it means to me.

In the olden days, when I was a young'un, I was taught to respect my elders, respect my country, respect the flag, respect life and living things, respect other people's belongings, respect other people's privacy, and the list goes on and on. I was also taught respect was earned.

I have come to believe that there is a certain amount of respect afforded to people, because of the position they hold. I have worked for many people that while I did not respect the person, I respected the position they held. I believe some respect is inherent, kind of a birth right so to speak.

A coupe of weeks ago, I received a letter that was written to, "To Whom it May Concern". The letter was in business form, its message very matter of fact. The letter was regarding my mom. No, it wasn't from her doctor(s), or from the nursing home, or anyone in authority over her care. Nope, not at all. It was from a family member. Not an immediate family member, but a family member none-the-less.

My mother is Helen. I am proud to be her daughter. I am not "To Whom it May Concern". Nope, never have been. I am Boni, the youngest daughter of Helen and J.W. I love my parents very much, and would give my life for them. I would give my everything to and for them.

When I read the letter a couple of weeks ago, I was very angry. Not angry at the contents. No, I was already aware of the information in the letter. I was angry at the lack of respect given to me, and my brothers and sisters. The respect I feel should have been given to us, as Helen's children.

An ego trip? Hmm, no, I don't think so. You see, although I don't get along with the author of the letter, I do respect that she is a member of the family.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A collective whimper

This coming Wednesday, June 23, 2010, at 4:00PM, a sound will be heard around the world. It will be an eerie, haunting sound that has never been heard before, and will never be heard again. It will be the sound of the collective whimper of the men of Kalispell, MT. Why will they be whimpering? What will be the cause of the eerie, haunting sound? It's Jeano's last day in the bakery. A sad day indeed.

Okay, okay, so maybe it won't be heard around the world. Maybe just in the bakery, if the mixers aren't going full blast. But, the men will whimper. Seems like all the men love to see Jeano in the bakery. She starts their day with a smile, as she hands them their maple bar, glazed twist or sticky bun. What's not to love? She's a sweetheart to be sure.

Jeano is moving back to her hometown of Libby, MT. She wants to be close to her family, and her boyfriend. Who can blame her really. So, while the men of Kalispell whimper, I have a feeling the men of Libby will be smiling and collectively sighing as they say, "Jeano's back!"

Sunday, May 2, 2010

They named her Helen.

While on my trip back to Wisconsin, my dad told the story of how my mom got her name. I had never heard the story before, and was in awe as I listened.

Part of the story told of a land war between the Dietz family and a logging company, in Winter, WI. The Dietz family owned farm land, with a creek running through it. A logging company bought the adjacent land, and dammed the creek. The dam caused the Dietz farm to flood, and the "war" began. As the story goes, the Dietz family was armed, and the logging company brought up mobsters from Chicago to do their fighting.

The land war came to an end after one of the mobsters from Chicago was shot in a gun battle, by one of the Dietz group. My dad said old man Dietz died in Waupan Prison, because he took the blame for the killing.

My grandfather, Albert, was a young man at the time. In the dark of night, he would crawl in on his belly, to take food and supplies to the Dietz family. There he met the Dietz's daughter, Helen. According to the story, Grandpa had a huge crush on Helen Dietz.

After a time, Albert met and fell in love with my grandmother, Eunice. Together they had eight children. The eldest was a daughter, they named her Helen.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The trip back.

When I called my mom for her birthday, I asked her if she wanted me to come home. She told me it was up to me. I told her I knew she was tired, and asked her again if she wanted me to come home. She said, "Why don't you then." That was all I needed to hear. The next day I packed a few things, BooDuh and headed to Wisconsin.

I had a wonderful visit with my mom, and dad. Seeing Mom in the nursing home, very thin and frail was not easy at first. It reminded me of the times before when she had been in the hospital and I would feed her. Although those times, she was still strong. Mom's mind is sharp, but she didn't engage in conversation. She would answer a question if asked, and then lay there silently in her body. Her tiredness very visible.

In the weeks since I came home to Montana, Mom has gotten stronger. I have had some really wonderful conversations with her on the phone. Conversations that would lead you to believe she is going to live forever and a lifetime. I have been told she sleeps a lot, and that reminds me she is tired. Yes, tired, but not yet ready to let go and sleep the eternal sleep that is everyone's destiny.

I had thought of titling this post "The trip back home", but Wisconsin didn't feel like home to me anymore. It felt like a place I had been before, familiar, but not home. Everything was the same as it was when I lived there. Everything that is except me. I had changed. Grown perhaps?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

She's tired.

My mom is an amazingly strong woman. I have often shaken my head in wonderment at her strength. When facing difficult times she has always put one foot in front of the other and kept going, as if she knew nothing else. Giving up for Mom has never been an option. No one person, or thing in my life has been stronger.

Our relationship has not always been a good one. I believe that to be a natural part of life, at least for me. Although, when I moved to Montana, our relationship changed. The words "I love you" were said often. And meant, from the heart.

Mom has been in and out of a nursing home and hospitals lately. She had fallen and hit her head. While in the hospital they found a cerebral hemorrhage, and that she had a minor stroke. I tell myself these are things a strong person can overcome.

The reality, painful reality, is that Mom says she is tired. Tired physically, mentally and spiritually. And I know that when a person is tired there is no magic pill, no surgery, nothing medical science can do. There is only a short time left.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


As defined in the Urban Dictionary, coo-gher, an older woman who's primary interest lies in bedding younger men.

A few months ago I adopted a male kitten from the Spay and Neuter task force. After much mental debate I named him BooDuh. He seems to like the name, because when I ask, "Where's BooDuh?", his head pops up. BooDuh started out his life abandoned with his litter mates, living under a mobile home. He is part Manx, called a Longie, because he has a tail. His brother and sister did not have tails at all.

I am NOT a cat person. I thought I could become a cat person, but ah nope, not. I like BooDuh as a living being. He's funny as heck, smart as a whip and cute as a babies behind. But, he has not convinced me cats are the way to go. To that end I will forever be a dog person. (I didn't get a dog because the place I live is too small for a dog.) That is not to say I will get rid of BooDuh. Nope, I've grown attached to the little guy. I've told him we will grow old together, he with no claws and teeth, and me with many scars.

Even though BooDuh is the first cat I have ever had, (if you have read previous posts about Patch I should tell you he was a feral, barn cat, not an indoor, or tame cat). I did have my own idea about cats. I believe cats are to be kept indoors. I don't want to be gifted with a dead bird, or other outside critter he might want to bring in. I also know there are a lot of coyotes and dogs running around that would love to have a BooDuh snack. I used to think it was wrong to de-claw cats. I have a few too many bloody moments and scars to feel that way anymore.

The concept of BooDuh being an indoor cat seems to be a hard one for him to grasp. He goes to the door and meows. This is how the conversation goes...

BooDuh, "I want out."
Me, "Nope."
BooDuh, "Why?"
Me, "Because you are an indoor cat."
BooDuh, "What idiot thought up that idea?"
Me, "I'm not an idiot, get away from the door!"

I told you he was smart.

My neighbor has an older, female cat named Precious. Precious is allowed to roam the neighborhood. Poor BooDuh has to sit in the window and watch her, sigh. The other day Precious came in the yard, and jumped up on my picnic table. As she sat there, BooDuh jumped up on the back of a chair and looked out at her. It was a cute, Kodak moment. I took a picture. Then I warned BooDuh about Precious. I told him she is an older, female cat, and he is just too little a boy to be around a cougar.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The end of an era?

Have you driven on US Highway 2, out of Kalispell lately, and seen a white SUV stopped along the side of the road? It was me. Did you look in your rear view mirror and notice the white SUV pull back out on the road, only to move a short distance and pull off again? Yep, it was still me. I have been having car trouble. Serious stuff anyplace, for sure. Just think, I live at the top of a 6% grade:0(

Back in 1994, I bought a brand spankin' new Honda Passport. It was a must, because my Siberian husky, Bandit, was too big for my Honda Civic 4 door. You should have seen his face when I brought it home. He looked at me, and looked at the truck and looked me, as if to ask, "Wow, is that for me to ride in?" It was. Ride in it we did, on long road trips, short road trips, and all over the country road trips, (it got me the 1500 miles to Montana).

Our favorite going down the highway game was fetch. No, I didn't throw the ball out the window and make him catch up to me. I would throw the ball to the very back, and Bandit would jump over the seat backs to get the ball. Then, he would drop it on the driver's seat for another round. (Dangerous you might think! Maybe, but I didn't have to watch where I threw the ball, so I kept my eyes on the road.) The truck has a bench seat, and on our trips Bandit would put his head on my lap and fall asleep. Or, he would stand on the back seat, resting his front legs on the back of the driver's seat, and watch where we were going. Ah, the memories.

I took my truck to a mechanic. Seems it's not firing on all cylinders. I have days like that. Anyway, it would cost more to fix, than the truck is worth. So, I am going to have to give it up, and get something "new to me". I know that doesn't seem like a big deal, it isn't really.

I just feel sentimental about my truck, because it is the last physical thing I had with Bandit, a keepsake of sorts. I look on the bright side, with tears in my eyes, I do have the memories. Good memories, that will stay nestled in my heart forever.